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Posted: 12.12.2002
I really do believe in you
So it looks like a vicar in merry ol' England is in deep reindeer caca with a lot of parents. He joked in a carol service sermon that "Santa and his reindeer would burn up doing 3,000 times the speed of sound as they delivered gifts to 91.8 million homes". He also pointed out that it was "logically impossible for one man and his sleigh to deliver 378 million presents in just 31 hours". Parents, of course, are outraged because they were not given the option of calmly explaining it to their children in their own way with their own timing.

I believed in Santa 'til a fairly late age. I was in the third grade, and always the arguer (shocking, I know, considering this was also the grade I busted open a classmates nose) -- I got into it with a couple of girls regarding his existance. I remember firmly placing my hands on my hips and stating, "Well Gary England (Oklahoma shout-out) tracks his sleigh with his radar on the news and if Santa didn't exist he couldn't do that!" At this point, my teacher Mrs. Botkin came up behind us all to see what was going on. And then, the words that crushed my soul -- FROM MY TEACHER -- "I can't believe you still think Santa is real at your age." I went home that afternoon livid at my mother.

I told my mom what my teacher had said and confronted her with it. And being just a little too smart for my own good, I also blurted out, "Well I bet the Easter bunny and tooth fairy aren't real either, are they?" At this point, I marched my stubborn self down the hall and slammed the door -- vowing to never lie to my own children about this man called Santa. (Obviously, if given the chance, now I would love to have a little one to place upon his knee.) My mom went to talk to my teacher about it the next day, but by then the damage was done -- and a little bit of Christmas died that day. I can't believe a vicar would dash an entire congregation full of innocent hopes and dreams like that though. What was he thinking?

So how old were you when you quit believing in Santa? Got a story behind the reasons why? And if you still believe in him -- what's the one thing on your list that you're hoping he'll bring you this year -- something no one else could possibly know about but Kris Kringle himself?

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

Ohmygod! Mrs. Botkin? At Waller? You're 20 years younger than me and she was ancient when I was in 8th grade. There's no way. Did she have a sister? We called them Fat and Skinny. They named a restauant after them in downtown Enid.

¤ ¤ credit: James | 12.12.02 at 07:05 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

What do you mean he doesn't exist?! It was second grade, during a messy breakup Jonathan, my squeeze, blurted out that he didn't want to be around a baby who still believed in Santa Claus. I was shocked and hurt. When I asked my mom about it when I got home she assured me that as long as I believed in Santa he did indeed exist. I still believe, so what are you talking about? ;-)

The funniest part is we moved away the next year but I ended up going to college with Jonathan. On my first day of college I saw him again (after 10 years) and we had a good laugh about the way he ruined Santa for me.

¤ ¤ credit: Angela | 12.12.02 at 08:06 AM | link--this ¤ ¤


You think you learned late? I learned when I was in 6th grade. My sister, who is two years younger, knew before I did.

I was telling my mom about how I was defending Santa to the kids at school and my mom looked at my sister and said "Do you think we should tell her?".

I still think they fibbed. He is real!

¤ ¤ credit: GeekGrrl | 12.12.02 at 08:10 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't recall how old I was, but I heard about the Santa sham from a Catholic priest right in the middle of his sermon. I'm not sure I believed him until I caught my parents putting gifts under the tree at midnight a year later. Heh.

¤ ¤ credit: Meredith | 12.12.02 at 09:08 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I still believe in Santa! My daughter does too. If we don't we don't get presents. Of course, I realize at Santa's age he needs "helpers" ;)

¤ ¤ credit: daisy | 12.12.02 at 09:09 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I was 6...And I remember someone telling me that I shouldn't be sad because there was a Santa in everyone who did things for others on Christmas. :) But I got to pretend for another 3 or 4 years for my little sister...and now I get to pretend for my cousins..7 and 8 and they both still believe :)

Pretending is the best part...it's like being a little kid again.

¤ ¤ credit: Jennifer | 12.12.02 at 09:15 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

i don't remember ever believing in santa. im sure I did, but I dont remember ever thinking that it wasn't my parents who gave me gifts. I know when I was about 5 or 6, my brother ben and i woke up really early and went and opened all our gifts people our parents got up. the look on my mothers face broke my wee heart. weoffered to wrap them back up oursleves and unwrap them again. I never EVER woke up early for christmas again.

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 12.12.02 at 09:22 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think I was about eight years old when I figured out that Santa didn't actually bring the presents under the tree. I remember opening up the biggest present and it was a Barbie townhouse, and I was so excited to have it. I played with all morning, and later, when the women in the family were preparing the holiday meal, I caught a glimpse of wrapping paper, tucked in the corner of the dining room... it was the same kind that had wrapped my presents earlier that day, and I knew that Santa hadn't brought anything. I can't recall any other feelings. No anger, no disappointment. Strange behavior for a kid, I suppose, but my childhood wasn't exactly perfect so other emotions tend to overwhelm such things.

As an adult, I very much want to believe in Santa. To me, he represents all that's good about Christmas. The religious elements and commercialism actually make Christmas frustrating for me, but Santa makes it special. Santa makes it worth the effort to decorate a tree, find the perfect presents for my small family, cook a delicious meal. And even though my two year old doesn't find Santa all that fascinating right now, I hold on tight to the potential years of childlike innocence... and for a moment, I believe Santa's real again.

¤ ¤ credit: Mariann | 12.12.02 at 09:33 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I can't remember a time that I didn't believe. No school yard fights over Santa. LOL!!
We have 3 kids, the oldest almost 12 (he's kinda silly when I ask) Our 9yo, you can tell by the look in his eye that he's not quite sure what to think. And then there's Raye, she's 4 of course she believes. :) We still do Santa for the boys.
I remember seeing wrapped packages in a closet at home, marked... From: Santa on them in my mothers writing. I think I was told, she had to do some shopping for him, yk helping the big guy out.

¤ ¤ credit: donna | 12.12.02 at 09:47 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I honestly can't remember when I stopped believing in Santa. I know when I was little, my brothers and I used to think we could hear bells on the roof. And my uncle (always the joker) would come to visit and tell us he saw elves outside. Of course, we would all run to the window and claim we saw them too! I don't remember how I found out it all wasn't real, so it must not have been too traumatizing for me :)

¤ ¤ credit: theresa | 12.12.02 at 10:28 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I still believe in Santa. I don't think anyone should stop believing...my Dad still says there is a Santa...maybe not a real person with reindeer, but his spirit is what makes Christmas have its magic.

¤ ¤ credit: sphinx | 12.12.02 at 10:35 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Not only did I believe in Santa til 5th grade, I got Christmas gifts from Santa until 2 years ago :( Now, my momma says no more santa gifts for me and my sissys. Pathethic huh? ;)

¤ ¤ credit: jewdez | 12.12.02 at 10:45 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

When I was about 5, I found my parents closet full of presents. When the same gifts appeared under the tree that year, it kind of confirmed it for me. Plus, Santa's hand writting was the same as my mom's on the gift tag. But I have to agree with Daisy, Santa needs helpers, otherwise the job wouldn't get done! That's why we run around crazily between Thanksgiving and Christmas buying up all of these gifts for people.

¤ ¤ credit: julie | 12.12.02 at 11:02 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm not sure how old I was but I confirmed it when I hung a small Christmas stocking on a light switch and nobody put anything in it. I don't remember ever feeling very into Santa so maybe I was always a Santa "agnostic" and just needed to prove it to myself. I was glad to go along with it, though, because Santa brought my "big" present (the one that cost at least $20) on Christmas morning. My parents were never really into making a production out of it but my sister did the whole reindeer turds in the kitchen thing with her kids.

¤ ¤ credit: Lauri | 12.12.02 at 11:44 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't ever remember NOT believing in Santa. Santa is not just a fat man in a red suit delivering Christmas presents to all the good little girls and boys...Santa is the spirit of the holiday. Even more so for those of us who have problems believing in a god...

¤ ¤ credit: Lisa | 12.12.02 at 11:54 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think I was 6 or 7 and my parents told my brother and I to look through the "Toys r Us" catalog to show them what we wanted for Christmas. But even then I still somewhat believed in Santa.

This year getting ready for my son's first Christmas, when I look at him I believe all over again. :)

¤ ¤ credit: Lance | 12.12.02 at 12:02 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

On the other hand, I do think it's fucked-up that we spend the first chunk of a kid's life telling them to believe in magic, and the second chunk telling them that all that magic stuff is bullshit.

¤ ¤ credit: Bill | 12.12.02 at 01:03 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'd ping you if I could, but can't at the moment....so "ping!"

¤ ¤ credit: Promo | 12.12.02 at 01:04 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's probably not so much the fact of finding out Santa doesn't exist but the sneery, dismissive ways these adults seem to be acting that hurts. I mean, what kind of teacher says to a third-grader: "I can't believe you still think Santa is real at your age." Bee-otch. I'd have ripped her head off if I had been your mother.

I was in fourth grade when I "found out." My friends and I got together and decided to "investigate" these allegations. I don't remember being disappointed; rather I was kind of excited at having uncovered my parents in a fib. "Hah! Got you!"

¤ ¤ credit: Andrea Harris | 12.12.02 at 01:40 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I posted mine on my site - but I do remember one Christmas I got a Barbie Camper and we realized a few pieces were missing, and out to the garage my mom goes, digging in the garbage can for the box it came in. I said "How did that get here?" and mom's answer was "You don't think all the presents come like this?" (our presents from Santa were open and ready to play with) - "..they come in a box and he assembles them, then throws the box away when leaving". I should have known Santa was real then - he didn't have time to assemble everyone's presents!

¤ ¤ credit: susan | 12.12.02 at 01:58 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I was about 4 years old. I couldn't understand how he got the presents in the house if we didn't have a chimney. Since we lived in South Florida, you rarely saw a house with a working fireplace.

My mother calmy explained something about him being able to go through the window. The old man then made a snyde comment about gifts and who the real Santa is and Mom shot him the look of death.

So Santa wasn't realy anymore, but I can't explain how I saw the powder footprints of the Easter Bunny going into the house that one Easter. That rabbit just might exist.

¤ ¤ credit: John | 12.12.02 at 02:16 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Whoa James -- Enid represent! She was actually at Hoover Elementary by the time I went to school. I think it would have been '81 or '82 when I had her... I went to Waller for 7th and 8th grade though before we moved away from Enid.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.12.02 at 02:31 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

You can bet the teacher "heard" what I had to say. I have never been known to be bashful when it came to my kids.

BTW, Fat & Skinnie's was also in Ponca City, Stillwater, and Ark City, KS. I knew the original owners, a man called Fat and a man named Skinny. The "fat" of Fat & Skinnie's also owned an Italian restaurant in Enid. Best Italian food anywhere. He was from the same area of New York your grandparents were from, Robyn. The "skinny" man's last name was Callichio.

¤ ¤ credit: Robyn's Mama | 12.12.02 at 03:03 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think I was in Grade 3 or 4, but I know there had been questions for a year or two leading up to it. My sister and I would plan these little tests to confirm Santa was real. One year we put out beer with the cookies, because the real Santa wouldn't drink and drive. Sure enough, the beer was still there. The next year we left a note asking him for his autograph, and jokes on him, we had a copy of his autograph from a note sent to us by Canada Post. Much to our chagrin, the signatures matched. Finally we just demanded to know and our parents told us. I think they were just worried about that year's test. :)


¤ ¤ credit: Rick | 12.12.02 at 03:20 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I had pretty much figured it out, but didn't admit to my parents that I knew until at least middle school. (Might have been even later than 6th grade, folks...) I didn't want to admit that I knew because I feared then I wouldn't get presents any more.

¤ ¤ credit: Jennifer | 12.12.02 at 03:32 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

We're believers in our family. Not only because since a very young age I've heard, "You don't believe, you don't receive." To us, Santa Claus is, as I believe a smart person coincidentally named Lisa posted before me, the spirit of Christmas in all of us. When I finally acknowledged that Santa wasn't a real human being I enjoyed "playing Santa" for my younger sister. I also, once my sister knew the secret as well, made my mother a stocking then my sister and I filled it for her. That was fun, and it gave us a better idea of the giving side of the Christmas Spirit.

I love the illusion of Santa, and I've done all I can do to perpetuate that illusion for my children. I figure there's time enough to take credit for the cool gifts they get once they're old enough to realize that the coolest thing about it was the special spirit in which they were given.

¤ ¤ credit: Lisa | 12.12.02 at 06:45 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

AAck!! I meant to add that Gary England tracking the reindeer is one of the few things I enjoyed about living in Oklahoma! Geez, waste a comment for that? Hell yeah! Gary England's worth it.

¤ ¤ credit: Lisa | 12.12.02 at 06:51 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Sorry. I still believe in Santa.
Not in the conventional elves/north pole/down the chimney way... but there is something magical this time of year that I just can't explain. Something that just comes over all people, of all religions... even if it's only for one night.

¤ ¤ credit: -e- | 12.13.02 at 12:15 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't remember the age ... I think maybe 4 or 5 ... but I remember telling my mom "I know there isn't a Santa Claus, cause he wouldn't shop at Sears" I know Rob will LOL at that ... so typically me.

¤ ¤ credit: Kathy | 12.13.02 at 12:40 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Whoa -- Robyn's not the only one who had a crummy teacher experience!

¤ ¤ credit: Michael | 12.13.02 at 05:30 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Robyn, this is for all your blog friends----I mailed Robyn's and Todd's presents from Santa and they should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday----ok, blog friends this is where you come in. Keep Robyn and Todd from opening them before Christmas Eve!! They're a bad influence on each other. :)

¤ ¤ credit: Robyn's Mama | 12.16.02 at 10:46 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I still believe in Santa. Not necessarily in the actual man, but in the idea.
To me, this holiday is not just about whether you believe in Christianity, and the birth of Jesus, or whether you believe in a jolly man toting toys to little girls and boys. It's not about giving gifts, or getting them. It has nothing to do with making wish lists, and cleaning the house before relatives arrive. To me this holiday is about family and friendship, and loving and caring. It's about believing in the goodness in humans, and being joyful. It's about being a kid at heart again, when seeing twinkle-ing Christmas lights made you giggle, and you wanted to spend time with family. It's about thinking back to a time when you did believe in Santa, and all things magical. It's about thinking back to that time when you didn't have to worry about bills, and wars, because you were too innocent to know that they exist. To me, it's all about going back to that time, and believing in the "spirit" of Christmas.

¤ ¤ credit: Missy | 12.17.02 at 04:56 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

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